Why is the homecoming game not at home? That is a question I have been asked a number of times over the last couple of weeks and I don't have an answer other than maybe the University thought they could make the annual event more profitable moving it to a bigger venue. But with the way the University of Louisville is playing I would think the I-71 traffic may not be what it could be if they had a better record. One thing is for sure they have a considerable number of greater Cincinnati kids on their team including Stephon Ball, son of former Bengal Eric Ball; Preston Brown from Northwest; Dominique Brown, state champion quarterback from Winton Woods and so many more. That no doubt will guarantee a contingent of Cardinal faithful regardless of their record.
This game may be the last ironically these two teams could play while living in the same conference. Many believe U of L is headed out of the conference, potentially to the ACC; either way to see these two schools in different conferences is heartbreaking for someone who remembers them going back past the Conference USA days. So close in proximity, same color palette and raiding each others back yard has contributed to a great rivalry and a Keg of Nails as the reward.
I hope wherever Louisville goes, UC follows; I can't say with any certainty that it will happen but I would think any conference commissioner worth his weight in Bowls will see this built in rivalry has instant value. Time will tell and I hope sooner than later. Until then we'll just have to enjoy what we have; a battle on the Ohio and a tradition of memories to last a lifetime. No matter who the coaches or players are, the fans on both sides know you have to root heavily against each other.
While we don't know and really feel slighted that the homecoming football game is not on campus, we have to revel in the fact we're good enough that Paul Brown stadium is now a viable option. I don't think the attendance will be anywhere near the numbers the Oklahoma game provided but lets hope they exceed the capacity of Nippert Stadium. Otherwise the debate fuels itself and it will be hard to put it to rest.
Rest assured though, that this homecoming will be a first at Paul Brown stadium; and you can say you were there regardless of who you're rooting for.
That's the way I see it, sitting in The Box Seat.